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If I go for weigelas, which variety should I choose?

2 years ago

I'm still trying to refine my plan for this small foundation bed in Zone 5b. I figured I'd give the shrub forum a try. This is for the south-facing end of my house. The plant bed is a little over 6 ft. deep and like 12ish (maybe 14) ft. wide.

These half-dead barberry bushes need to go. I want to replace them with something equally low maintenance but with floral appeal, both for myself and for the pollinators. But I also want a tidy look.

Right now I am leaning towards low maintenance shrub roses (probably either Oso Easy Cherry Pie or Oso Happy Candy Oh) OR weigela. There are so many varieties of weigela as to be overwhelming. I feel like I've read everything about all the different varieties by now, and after all that research it seems like each one has some of the characteristics I want, but not all. I wanted to inquire about which weigela would ultimately be the best for me, if I do go the weigela route.

I want something that sticks to 3 ft. high and 3 ft. wide. I'll probably put 3 of them in front of that bay window, similar to the barberries. I'd prefer a clean, mounded shape so I don't have to prune, plus I just like a tidy look. I prefer the more pinky-fuschia colored flowers, but could make my peace with red. I'd really prefer something that reblooms throughout the warmer months without me deadheading it.

At first I was leaning towards Fine Wine, but then I saw folks say the brown leaves of the wine series makes the shrub look dead once the flowers are gone, so that kind of put me off. My next choice was Crimson Kisses, but the yellow-green, oversized leaves seem less appealing to me, at least in the photographs.

Based on what I am seeking, are these still my two best choices of weigela, or is there some other type I should consider?

Also, because I am greedy, I thought I would also ask you all if you think it would be aesthetically and practically sound to put a border of something like lavender along the front of these shrubs? Do I lack the space? Would that just look dumb? I also need to figure out what I want to do on the left side of the bed that is a bit empty, but that can be a project for another time.

I very much appreciate your firsthand weigela experiences and insight!

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